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Kangaroo products trade to California and the Australian government’s interference in foreign conservation legislation

There has been recent media coverage of efforts by the Australian government, in concert with the Australian Kangaroo products industry, to overturn an impending ban on the importation of Kangaroo products to California. The trade in Kangaroo products has been largely in the form of leather products. Aside from ethical issues surrounding the underhandedness of the Australian government’s interference in the Californian legislature on this issue, these events raise broader ethical issues about ongoing attempts to commercialize the harvesting of Australian wildlife, including for international trade.

If Plan Melbourne were really seeking your opinion then it would not go ahead


Jill Quirk of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), Victorian and Tasmanian Branch, writes about the many problems of Plan Melbourne. Indeed there are so many problems that it is crazy to go ahead. But most of us realize that the Planners and Ministers behind Plan Melbourne intend to just go on driving bulldozers until something bigger stops them or they run out of oil. There is no plan B and so no room to listen to comment. This is a real problem for the rest of us because we live here.

Sustainable Planet? The Silent Crisis

By Brian McGavin, UK-based writer and analyst. 2013

Burning the candle at both ends
Today there is a ‘Silent Crisis’ in our midst. The crisis, still largely unrecognised, is potentially greater than all the other problems that transfix our policy makers.

For many decades now there has been a wilful blindness in recognising that relentless human population growth is one of the pre-eminent problems we face. A problem that is driving the astonishing growth of fossil fuel use and its depletion, climate warming, bio-diversity loss, the growing shortage of fresh water to meet human needs - and as a consequence of these changes - the prospect that agriculture will be unable to produce enough food to feed us.

Why Jellyfish are taking over the world - Lisa-ann Gershwin’s “Stung! On jellyfish blooms and the future of the ocean”

Move aside Steven King, jellyfish are worse than any of your demons, worse than any Grade-B monster that’s graced the silver screen. Unlike The Blob, which can be stopped by freezing, you can’t kill them. Not with chemical repellents or biocides or nets or electric shocks or introducing species that eat jellyfish like the striped sea slug. If you shoot, stab, slash, or chop off part of a jellyfish, it can regenerate lost body parts within two days. Not even the past 5 major extinction events which killed up to 90% of all life on earth, killed off the jellyfish.

A government devoid of morals - by Jill Redwood

AS I WRITE, the bulldozers and chainsaws are brutalising another superb stand of ancient forest not far from where I am just out of Orbost, south-eastern Victoria. (This article is an extract from one on the ABC. See inside for link.)

Leave enough water for other species in Australia and the world - SPA

International Biodiversity Day May 22
Humans are appropriating too much water for their own needs and not leaving enough for the survival of other species, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

If I only had a rocket-launcher....Fighting off-pavement vehicle intrusions in our parks and forests

Here comes an ATV -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How much sensitive habitat have they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay
(with apologizes to Bruce Cockburn)

Book review: Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation


Have you ever seen the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It encompasses a floating island of plastic debris out in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas, about 60 to 90 feet thick, 1,000 miles off San Francisco. It kills millions of marine creatures and avian life in our oceans across the world annually. Over 46,000 pieces of plastic float on every square mile of Earth’s oceans. BY FROSTY WOOLDRIDGE.

Kelvin Thomson MP: Dear PM, please don't wind back critical environmental protection laws

Kelvin Thomson, MP for Wills, has written to Prime Minister Gillard, asking her to consider and respond to the concerns of constituents about planned changes to the federal environment act. Have any other ministers done this? We would like to hear from them if so. See also this article which contains links to petitions etc.

Population growth drives biodiversity loss in Australia and elsewhere - SPA

September is Biodiversity Month and its purpose is to promote the importance of protecting, conserving and improving biological diversity in Australia and globally. Australia has between 600,000 and 700,000 species, many of which are endemic.

Urban sprawl -biodiversity wrecking-ball

The Growling Grass Frog, one of the largest frog species in Australia, was previously widespread across Victoria. They are now endangered. Southern Brown Bandicoots once occurred commonly in the wider Frankston area (pre-1970s). They have rapidly declined and are now restricted to isolated remnant habitat patches. They have little chance of long term survival against the economic benefits of population growth. Without robust ecosystems, with each natural species contributing its part to the web of life, we end in a barren, artificial and sterile, wastelands. (First posted
Posted July 13th, 2012; Reposted July 15, 2012.)

Climate change impacts on Reefs are here and will change what Reefs look Like in the future

CAIRNS, Australia -- International Coral Symposium. "The impacts of a warming climate on reefs is not a future event. Complex changes have already begun that could fundamentally change what reefs look like in the future."

See Proceeedings from 12th International Coral Reef Symposium.

Big CO2 Group wins $3.8 million Biodiversity grants to create wildlife corridors, sequester CO2

CO2 Group's Chief CEO, Andrew Grant says that anthropogenic climate change science is quite simple really: "It's a function of increased population on the earth." Candobetter.net received the following as a press release today. We obviously like the idea of wildlife corridors connecting national parks. By the same token, nothing in the corporate or the government area can be taken at face value. Until the corridors are established; until we can see that more is not taken away by related interests somewhere else, we have to remain cautious. Nonetheless, on face value, this is cheering news. So is the Chief CEO of CO2 Group's attitude to human population growth and carbon emissions.

More needed to save koalas - NSW Wildlife Council speaks up

The current system of protection is failing Australian wildlife. Too little too late. Does legislation claiming to protect really cause habitat destruction? Current legislation let wildlife numbers fall too low, creating genetic bottlenecks that reduce long term chance of species survival. Even the largest national park is just a gene puddle, rather than a gene pool, if it is not connected to other habitat. Article by James Fitzgerald, NSW Wildlife Council

Overdevelopment pushes koala closer to extinction - What is Environment Minister Tony Burke doing about this?

"Minister Burke has ruled out protection for all koalas and we are concerned these northwest NSW koala populations may be left off the threatened species list, even while their populations are falling dangerously low." Zoologist David Paull: 75 per cent decline in the relative abundance of koalas in the Pilliga from 1993 to 2011. Estimates only 500 to 2000 koalas left in the area. “The spread of mines and gas wells, tree kills from coal seam gas spills and increased vehicles through the Pilliga Forest will likely put extra strain on these already declining koala populations." Wilderness Society, 29 April 2012. (This article elevates to an article a comment "Media Release - The Wilderness Society on Koalas," posted by Bandicoot on April 29-2012.)

Byrrill Creek - No Dam Way!

On November 2010, I detailed on http://candobetter.net/node/2256 what is wrong with a dam being constructed on Byrrill Creek, Northern N.S.W. Since then even more reasons have surfaced .... the plot thickens. What is the real reason why Tweed council wants a dam in spite of legal impediments, in spite of Byrrill Creek's undeniable ecological value? Why do councillors consistently refuse to vote in sustainable water technologies throughout the shire?

Our crime? Anthropocentrism. Who pays? Koalas.

NSW Department of Health has approval to build a $2.5 million health centre for South Tweed Coast residents in Pottsville. Locals are currently on a waiting list to see a doctor so the need is urgent. The only problem is a critical koala food tree has been in the way of their planned parking lot. Tweed Coast koalas (with less than 144 remaining) are predicted to become locally extinct within 5 years due to developments taking up koala real estate. The question is: are koalas more important or are people more important? Or can people co-exist with koalas in the suburbs? In this case, sadly the koalas lost out .... once again.

Trying to reverse deforestation in the Pacific - One tree, One day, One life.

The 8th of November 2011 in New Caledonia marked the launching of a new program, called, "One tree, one day, One life" at the 7th Conference of the Pacific Community. Deforestation is the hallmark of colonisation in the South Pacific as everywhere. In small islands, deforestation can make the difference between an inhabitable and an uninhabitable island in terms of rainfall. A joint declaration to participate in a program where every island inhabitant in every participating island in the Pacific will plant a tree every year has already been signed by the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Tokelau, Vanuatu, Wallis and Fortuna and French Polynesia as of the last SPREP summit in Apia in July 2011.

Proposed Variations on Code of practice for forestry - Call for Submissions

Proposed revisions to the Code of Practice for Forestry in Victoria Australia could adversely impact Victoria's threatened species. As many candobetter.net readers know, the Victorian Auditor General found last year that Victoria has utterly failed in its objectives under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1986) to measure and protect unique species from threat and endangerment. These changes also follow Environment East Gippsland's historic win in court against VicForests last year, where EEG sought protection under this Act for endangered species. With these changes, loggers could seek exemptions from state environment laws protecting endangered species. Victorians (and people all over the world) need to be aware of these proposed changes and to make comments. You can make a submission via this article.

Frankston Reservoir to be designated a Nature Conservation Reserve!

Future upgrade for Frankston Reservoir to Nature Conservation reserve confirmed by Environment Minister. The extraordinary quality of this remnant wilderness comes from the fact that there has been no public access for 90 years. Full protection of this reserve will protect the fauna and flora, and guard the “sanctuary” and “solitude” experience of this unique natural heritage for Frankston residents and all Victorians.

Serendip Sanctuary: Why do we have to keep fighting our governments for our natural rights?

Approval to rezone the rural land opposite Serendip Sanctuary, Lara, near Geelong, sets a dangerous precedent for open slather development that places the wildlife protected there at risk and flies in the face of democracy. The Sanctuary is internationally recognised for successfully breeding captive species such as Brolga, Musk and Freckled Duck and now the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, on the brink of extinction. Serendip forms an important wildlife corridor between the You Yangs Regional Park and Brisbane National Park through agricultural land and the sprawl of Greater Melbourne as it spreads to meet the regional city of Geelong.

Where's the balance?? Koalas vs Developers in Australia

Where's the balance? On April 5th candobetter.net received an anonymous comment, entitled, "Koala left clinging to a tree after land clearing." A link to a photograph of a koala clinging to a tree in a recently cleared paddock showed that someone had actually managed to get photo-evidence of the sickening process of koala extinction - for unwanted development - which goes on under our noses with the blessing of the Queensland Government.

Children As Weeds

Upon waking this morning, the first of January, I expect the media to lead off with what has become a tiresome ritual. Declaring the "winner" of the First-Baby-Of-The-Year Derby. Or should it be called "The Race To Extinction Derby"? Is there anything more symbolic of our collective stupidity and denial as celebrating the addition of the earliest born human being to a species that has rocketed to nearly 7 billion? I think it is timely then to reprise something I wrote a year and a half ago. I have not flinched in my fealty to these sentiments. It is something, which, if it appeared in the local community magazine, would ensure my lynching. That it would inspire such a reaction is proof, I think, of its veracity.

Council rates system destroys urban rainforest and community in Brisbane

The Australian land tax system creates hot treeless slums. In Queensland, for instance, the Brisbane City Council charges landowners according to the assessed market value of their land. If the Council land-zoning changes to allow medium or high density housing on land previously zoned only for detached homes, then the commercial value of that land goes up as each block will then be able to hold several dwellings instead of one. Although living conditions then become cramped and the quality of life for residents of higher density declines in comparison with that of residents of detached single dwellings, the total financial value of the medium density dwellings inevitably exceeds that of a single residence on the same land.

New Dam planned for Biodiversity Hotspot

Controversial Tweed Shire Council has a history of making poor environmental decisions that are hugely unpopular with the largely Green-oriented residents. It is the second most complained about council in New South Wales. However in November 2010 the councillors voted for the worst possible blunder which will be recorded as a major crime against Nature.

VCAT on Westerfield - report by Gillian Collins

Freeway proponents' argument for clearing push prior to provision of net gain offsets:
"Their main argument was that granting this injunction would cost them millions of dollars. They did not challenge that the Incorporated Document said the offsets should be in place prior to construction. They did not produce a list of offsets that are being considered." (Gillian Collins)

The Fake Environmentalists and their Pretend-Game

There is a grassroots storm gathering across the land against the endless development that is being shoved down our throats. But beware of those who would attempt to commandeer it for their own purposes, and manage growth by managing opposition to it. Beware of those who would wear us down by reacting to the symptoms of growth, rather than growth itself. Beware of the Pied Pipers of Green Deceit. Beware of the Fake Environmentalists and their Pretend-Game.

The Six Clusters of Denial---Death by Storytelling

For each of us, denial, at some level, is a necessary coping strategy, but collectively, it is now our death knell. Perhaps its most deceptive form, however, is not wilful ignorance or idiotic pollyannsh hope, but the belief that writing about our crisis is in itself a solution.

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